Round up #139: how tablets and bookstores did at the holidays, Color Purple for $1.99
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
NOOK sales down 12.9%
While I don’t see the press release yet at
I expect it will be there later today.
Update: the press release is now posted here.
Barnes & Noble has announced holiday sales, and I’m glad they didn’t try to obfuscate the results.
Putting it simply, they weren’t good.
Here is one of the key things:
“The NOOK segment, which consists of the company’s digital business (including Readers, digital content and accessories), had revenues of $311 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 12.6% as compared to a year ago. Digital content sales increased 13.1%, while NOOK device unit sales declined during the holiday period as compared to the prior year. Digital content sales are defined to include digital books, digital newsstand, and the apps business. “
Yes, digital content sales increased, and that’s good, but the offset for hardware resulted in a significant decline. They sold fewer of them this year, despite having new (and generally well-reviewed) models.
I commend CEO William Lynch for honesty, saying they “…will adjust our strategies accordingly going forward”. That might mean fewer models this year.
Did Amazon do better with multiple models?
Thanks to a reader who alerted me in a private e-mail to this
The author, Adam Levine-Weinberg, makes a reasonable point that the Kindle Fire 8.9″ doesn’t sit atop the bestseller list at Amazon, and may not have done as well as might be expected. While I use mine daily, I would have to say it is the Kindle with which I have been least thrilled. It’s a lot more money for what doesn’t seem to me to be a lot more value over the 7″, at least for me. I got the 4G model, mostly so I could write about it, but I almost haven’t used 4G at all, except for testing it. The larger screen doesn’t seem worth the increased bulkiness, but that might be just me.
I recommend the article, so you can see the methodology.
$50 off KF8.9 for Amazon Students
Amazon is giving
this month, lowering the price to $249 for the least expensive.
For the wi-fi only model, that gets it down to a more reasonable price. You still have to decide if 2.9″ of screen size is worth $50 extra for you, and you do get X-Ray for Textbooks (which I have not tested yet).
Read the details at the above link before buying. You need to be a qualified member of Amazon Student (a type of Amazon Prime, basically), and that includes being a free member. You need to enter a code (KNDL4STU) at check-out.
KDD: The Color Purple for $1.99
Among today’s Kindle Daily Deals is The Color Purple by Alice Walker for $1.99. This is the Pulitzer Prize winner which was adapted into a movie direct by Steven Spielberg, and is currently a musical. If you haven’t read it, be prepared for it to be emotionally challenging.
As always, check the price before you click or tap that Buy button. This deal may not apply in your country, and it is for a limited time.
The Millions: “My New Year’s Resolution: Read Fewer Books”
Thanks to Publishers Weekly for the heads-up, through my morning Flipboard read, on this
by Michael Bourne.
I think people very often read because they set goals for themselves, and that’s not a bad thing. One person might want to read a book a week, and another might want to go through a “books you must read” list.
I’ve done it myself. When I managed a brick and mortar bookstore, I read a book in each section (and encouraged my employees to do the same).
That wasn’t because I thought I’d enjoy and learn from each one, necessarily, but I thought it could make me a better person (and bookseller).
I also always finish every book I start…even though that can sometimes be tough slogging.
In both of those cases, it wasn’t reading for reading’s sake…it was, in a sense, to prove something. It was to have a sense of accomplishment.
Bourne relates it to running a marathon. It isn’t because you are trying to get somewhere, it is because you are trying to do something.
Certainly, there can be benefits to running marathons and to “reading marathons” (although on the former, I always want to point out to people that the marathon distance isn’t famous because it was healthy, but because it killed the first person).
It can also, though, be selfish. It can take time away from other things (and people) in your life, and if it isn’t really benefiting you (and them), is it worth it?
I thought the essay was a fascinating perspective, and I do recommend it.
Publishers Weekly: “Indie Bookstores Have Big Holiday Sales”
Speaking of PW, this is a heartening read
It is a report on their annual holiday sales survey of independent bookstore owners, and things look good. That included both long-established businesses and newbies.
That doesn’t mean that there weren’t and won’t continue to be significant closures. However, it does suggest that there isn’t a direct causative relationship between more e-content selling and local bookstores doing worse.
Asus gives up on netbooks
On the other hand, I do think tablets, like the iPad and the Kindle Fire, are directly impacting sales of netbooks.
makes it clear…after five years, the netbook is pretty much going away.
Simply, tablets are a better fit for the same functions.
It’s similar to the way that e-books are mashing the mass market paperback segment. Mass markets had the niche of being cheaper and more convenient than hardbacks or larger paperbacks. That role now goes to e-books (which also don’t decay in the same way), so MMPs are in real trouble.
What do you think? Will we see fewer new tablets and EBRs (E-Book Readers) introduced this year? Will B&N’s stock tank for the next couple of days (and then, perhaps, recover)? Are you still using a netbook? Should indie bookstores be supported just because they are indies? Why do you think people choose to shop there, rather than buying online? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.